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Kelly: We Don’t ‘Pooh-Pooh’ On Terror Threats

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Khalid Aldawsari

In this booking photo released by the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office, Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, 20, is seen. (Photo by Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office via Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The Saudi-born college student accused of buying chemicals online as part of a plan to blow up key targets in the U. S. was going to school in Texas but according to his journal his sights were set on New York.

Federal prosecutors said one of Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari’s plans was to come to New York and plant bombs in rental cars around the city for remote detonation during rush hour.

Ray Kelly said the NYPD spents serious money a year on counter-terrorism efforts, 1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks reports

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said he sees this case as another indication that New York is the number one terrorist target in the nation – citing at least 12 known plots against the city.

“New York is seen as the capital of the world,” Commissioner Kelly said. “We know that we are at the top of the terrorists’ target list.”

“It’s a dangerous world, and we just cannot forget it,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

“That’s why we have put a counter-terrorism bureau in place, that’s why we reformed our intelligence division, that’s why we have people overseas, that’s why we’re doing everything that we’re doing,” Kelly said. “We spend about $200 million a year in our counter-terrorism efforts – that’s serious money.”

Aldawsari, who was legally in the U.S. on a student visa, moved to Texas to study chemical engineering and according to diaries obtained by the FBI it was all about building an “intelligent bomb.”

Kelly says he takes all threats, but especially ones against New York, seriously, reports WCBS 880′s Rich Lamb

In one journal entry, according to the documents filed by prosecutors, he wrote, “after mastering the English language, learning how to build explosives, and continuous planning to target the infidel Americans, it is time for jihad.”

His targets, prosecutors said, included the Dallas home of former President George W. Bush, various dams and nuclear power plants and unidentified locations in New York City.

“To somebody who is attempting to compile the materials to build a bomb, when New York is mentioned, we take it all seriously and there’s a tendency on a part of some people to ‘pooh-pooh’ these things or downplay them when they’re arrested before they do it,“ Kelly said.

Aldawsari was arrested Wednesday and charged with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. He faces a maximum penalty of life in prison if convicted.

He appeared in federal court in Texas Friday where a judged ordered him to remain in custody until a detention hearing next month.

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